Nation-Building, Ethnicity and Language Politics in Transition Countries

Регион: Постсоветское пространство
Год издания: 2003


Издательство: Local Government and Public Service Reform Initiative

Организация: Local Government and Public Service Reform Initiative, Open Society Institute, European Centre for Minority Issues

ISBN: 963 9419 58 3

In the wake of the momentous geopolitical changes of 1989, countries in Central and Eastern Europe, former Soviet republics and constituent states of the Russian Federation have engaged in various forms of nation-building or re-building. From the very beginning, language diversity has played a crucial part in this process.

This volume aims to take stock of the experience of the countries concerned in dealing with linguistic diversity. Its emphasis is on the interplay between, on the one hand, the politics of language, namely, the way in which internal power struggles and minority-majority relations crystallize around language and, on the other hand, the development of language legislation codifying the respective status of the different languages, against the backdrop of complex historical, ethnic and sociolinguistic realities.

The opening chapter, by Will Kymlicka and François Grin, discusses the ways in which these issues are linked to the main discourses about state intervention in language matters, namely, the discourse of rights and the policy analysis approach. The nine case studies in the book, from the high-visibility cases of the Baltic States and of Central and East European States, to much less known language policy developments in Armenia or Tatarstan, provide in-depth analyses illustrating the remarkable range of language politics and language policy in times of change. The book also includes the case of a stateless people, the Roma, and the politicization of the debate on the standardization of Romanes.

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